Month of Letters


There’s something delightful about real mail for me – even when I was little, getting a card in the mail was the ultimate surprise, a moment of glee like few others. It’s the same for me now: any item in my box that isn’t junk or a bill is something to utterly enjoy when it arrives. Book related mail is always a fave, of course – I’ve been known to preorder books and get subscription boxes mostly so I’ll forget they’re on the way and “surprise” myself when they do arrive.

And it’s not just getting goodies that appeals to me – I have a habit of randomly putting a small pic or a jewelry making item in the mail to my long distance artist friends just to get the later giggle of the flailing message when it arrives. It’s such a little thing, but it can make a person’s day.

But even more than packages or birthday cards, there’s something special about a handwritten letter. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era – epistolary romances during the World Wars and historical collections of missives from family members scattered across the globe are just fascinating to me. It takes thought to pen a letter, and something about taking the time to do so seems to open up the emotional floodgates. A quick text to your bae (and BTW, I LOATHE that bit of slang) just doesn’t have the same gravitas as a page long letter to your loved one.

With that in mind and not for the first time, I’ve joined the Month of Letters challenge this February – www.lettermo.com. Basically, the challenge is to write a letter and post it out each mail day (Monday thru Saturday). The “letter” can be anything from a postcard to a letter to a pretty bookmark – just as long as it’s sent out by the end of the day.

This is pretty much the best thing ever from my perspective. Granted, my handwriting is HORRIBLE unfortunately, and my hands and wrists do not like holding a pen for long. But overall, getting to sit down and put my thoughts on paper for a while is so soothing. It makes me happy, frankly. I can’t help but smile as I’m scribbling away at the letter itself or even addressing the envelope and affixing the stamp. All because in just a few days, someone I care about enough to take the time to write to will get a surprise in their mail box, and they’ll know they mattered when they receive it.

It’s a powerful feeling, and one I can’t help but seeking out any excuse to feel. So, for February at least (and possibly longer if I end up with accidental pen pals), I will be visiting my mailbox daily, slipping an envelope inside and lifting the flag before grinning and walking away.

By the way, I can always use more addresses to send things to – so far I’ve sent to some of my favorite people, both in real life and online. If some of my twitter or FB buddies would like a letter, just shoot me a message with your address! And, of course, if some of you are participating in the Month of Letters and would like another person to write to, just message me and I will TOTALLY share my address with you too! Tweet me @C_L_McCollum if you’re game for fun stuff in your mailbox!